Cover Photo via the Dallas Morning News/ Steve Hamm
It is almost playoff time in the state of Texas! We’re on to the last week of the regular season with playoff seeding on the line across the metroplex. A handful of district titles were decided in week 10, and we’ll recap a few of those games below. My main takeaway is that DeSoto and Duncanville are the best two teams in the area and it isn’t particularly close. Those two may be the best two teams in the state, but Galena Park North Shore will likely have something to say about that around six weeks from now. Despite a rain delay, we were fortunate enough to get an answer as to which team is the best in the metroplex on Saturday afternoon. Let’s get into it.
DeSoto takes down Duncanville
I picked this game wrong, along with a bunch of other people. DeSoto deserves its flowers and recognition as the best team in the state after beating Duncanville 49-35. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football has Galena Park North Shore ranked as the top team in 6A, but I’ll take DeSoto over the Mustangs. This was as impressive of a win as any team in Texas has had all season, and it resulted in a District 11-6A title for the DeSoto Eagles.
DeSoto quarterback DJ Bailey completed 17 of his 23 passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns. Daylon Singleton was the star receiver for the Eagles with six receptions for 179 yards and two scores. Singleton opened the game with a bang by returning a kickoff for a score early in the first quarter. Antonio Pride Jr. added four receptions for 45 yards and a score and Kristoff Fantroy also caught an 11-yard touchdown pass. Marvin Duffey led the way on the ground with 25 carries for 96 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
Duncanville quarterback Keelon Russell completed 29 of his 42 passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns. Dakorien Moore caught seven passes for 104 yards and two scores and Zach Turner added seven receptions for 87 yards. Ayson Theus also caught seven passes for 57 yards. Caden Durham led the way on the ground with 15 carries for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Two lost fumbles ended up costing the Panthers in the end.
Byron Nelson defeats Southlake Carroll
Keeping with theme of de-facto district title games I picked wrong, Byron Nelson took down Southlake Carroll 34-17 for the District 4-6A Championship. A Southlake Carroll loss in district play was a thing I needed to see to believe, and Byron Nelson sure showed me a lot last weekend. The Bobcats never trailed this game and led by as many as 24 points in the third quarter. Byron Nelson clinched its first ever district title by ending a district winning streak stretching back a handful of years for the Dragons.
Byron Nelson quarterback Tom Von Grote completed 13 of his 20 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns. Ezra Malamura caught six passes for 72 yards and Leo Almanza added four receptions for 59 yards and a score. Pierce Dahlin also caught a 22-yard touchdown pass in the win. Tucker James led the rushing attack, racking up 177 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries. Jacoven Julian accounted for the other Byron Nelson touchdown by way of a pick-six.
Southlake Carroll quarterback Graham Knowles completed 15 of his 24 passes for 154 yards and two total scores. Knowles scored the lone Dragons rushing touchdown and Riley Wormley led the running backs with nine carries for 39 yards. Jack Van Dorselear caught five passes for 62 yards and a touchdown and Brock Boyd added four receptions for 51 yards. Byron Nelson’s defense forced three turnovers and held Southlake Carroll to its lowest point total since a December 2021 loss to Duncanville. That type of defensive effort deserves a shoutout.
Prosper outlasts Allen
This game didn’t decide District 5-6A, but it did set up a Thursday night showdown between Prosper and McKinney for the district title. Prosper outlasted Allen 37-36 to keep its district title hopes alive. After an even first quarter, Prosper entered halftime with a 27-14 lead, but Allen stormed back in the second half. Allen led Prosper 28-27 in the third quarter and 36-30 in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles offense stalled late after a Prosper touchdown drive.
Prosper quarterback Nathan TenBarge completed 10 of his 19 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns, and added 21 yards and a score on the ground. Javan Henry led the receivers with three receptions for 87 yards and a score and Lathan Latiolais added two receptions for 24 yards and a touchdown. Leo Anguiano led the rushing attack with 58 yards and a score on 15 carries.
Allen quarterback Brady Bricker completed 22 of his 34 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns. Micah Ellis led the rushing attack with 145 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Amir McDowell chipped in 60 yards and a score on 10 carries. Donnell Gee led the receivers with five receptions for 100 yards and Messiah Washington added four receptions for 80 yards and a score. Caleb Smith caught seven passes for 49 yards and a touchdown in the loss. Allen won the turnover battle and out-gained Prosper 446-294. Simply put, this is the type of game Allen has to win if it has any expectations in the postseason.
Games to Watch
Thursday, November 2
Prosper (8-1) @ McKinney (8-1)
Prosper currently leads District 5-6A with a 6-0 record. McKinney is 5-1 and would win the district with a win on Thursday night via tiebreaker. McKinney running back Bryan Jackson is playing his best football of the season at the right time. Prosper will need to take better care of the football than it did last weekend against Allen. With that being said, I am taking McKinney in a close one.
Lovejoy (8-1) @ Melissa (9-0)
The de-facto District 7-5A DII Championship Game pits Lovejoy and Melissa against one another. Both are undefeated in district play and neither team has played a particularly close district game. Two high powered offenses meet for what could turn into a track meet. I am picking Melissa in a close one.
Celina (9-0) @ Frisco Panther Creek (8-1)
District 7-4A DI won’t name a champion until this game is over. Celina and Frisco Panther Creek are each 5-0 in district play and have been on a collision course for weeks. I think Frisco Panther Creek’s dynamic duo of QB Braxton Roberts and WR Cristian Trickett will be too much for Celina and Panther Creek will win in a high scoring game.
Friday, November 3
Frisco Wakeland (7-2) @ Frisco (6-3)
This game will decide which team gets the third playoff seed and which team gets the fourth playoff seed in District 6-5A DI. Both are 5-2 in district play and have clinched a playoff spot, but neither team can move up to the second spot occupied by a 7-1 Frisco Reedy squad that finished its regular season schedule last week. Wakeland hasn’t lost since back to back close loses to Reedy and Lone Star back in September. Frisco hasn’t looked as competitive against those two teams over the last two weeks. I am taking Frisco Wakeland in this one.
Ennis (4-5) @ Mansfield Summit (6-3)
Mansfield Summit is 5-1 and in second place in District 5-5A DII. Ennis is 4-2 and in third place in District 5-5A DII. The winner of this game will clinch the second playoff seed in District 5-5A. This game should be a close one that could go either way, but I am picking Mansfield Summit.
Offensive Player of the Week
My Offensive Player of the Week is DeSoto quarterback DJ Bailey! DeSoto’s win over Duncanville was powered, on offense, by Bailey and WR Daylon Singleton. Bailey passed for 268 yards and four touchdowns in DeSoto’s 49-35 win over rival Duncanville. Singleton, named the Dallas Morning News’ Player of the Week, also deserves a shoutout here for an enormous performance on the biggest stage. Watch out for Bailey, Singleton and the DeSoto Eagles as the playoffs get rolling. This isn’t the last you will be hearing about this squad.
Defensive Player of the Week
My Defensive Player of the Week is DeSoto defensive lineman Keylan Abrams. Beating a team as talented as Duncanville takes a ton of great performances on both sides of the ball. Abrams racked up 11 tackles, two tackles-for-loss, and a DeSoto record six sacks in DeSoto’s 49-35 win over the Panthers!
Cover Photo of DeSoto quarterback DJ Bailey courtesy of the Dallas Morning News and Special Contributor Steve Hamm.